General Article Understanding different types of vegetarianism

Topic Selected: Dietary Choices
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By Paula Carnogoy

What is a vegetarian? On the surface, that sounds like an easy question. A vegetarian is someone who doesn’t eat meat. But where exactly do you draw the line? Is fish or other seafood considered to be meat? What about eggs and dairy products? These and similar questions can lead to some confusion over what exactly constitutes a vegetarian diet.

Broadly speaking, the following are the most common terms applied to vegetarians:


Most people who describe themselves simply as vegetarian will refuse to eat any kind of animal flesh, including red and white meat, fish and seafood, and products derived from the bodies of animals such as gelatin. As a rule of thumb, if an animal had to die in order for the item to be produced, it is off the menu for vegetarians. On that basis, eggs and dairy products are acceptable.


This term is sometimes used for people who don’t swear off eating meat altogether, but they do avoid certain types of animal pr...

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